Does Avera plan to bulldoze an entire neighborhood?

FF: 4:56 (Ironically the Planning office says they are working with them so they don’t disrupt the neighborhood. Huh?)

Avera has new zoning notices up at 24th and Cliff AND also at 7th/8th  and 24th.

These are pink signs vs. the orange ones that were originally posted for the Feb Planning Commission meeting.  The NEW pink signs are posted at both locations.

Seems like a sneaky strategy to have zoning requests at 2 different planning commission meetings with 24th and Cliff now added in. Why wasn’t this done all at once? Hmmmm.

They own approximately 49 out of the 64 homes in the neighborhood.  It seems they plan to have 8th, 9th and 10th Avenues vacated at some point in the future! Do you really believe they will be able to move ALL of those houses? Not likely.

This cutting up our core neighborhoods like pie has got to end.

In Benders Market Outlook it was mentioned there was a at 9.8% vacancy rate with apartments in Sioux Falls and;

Overall, the multifamily real estate cycle is expected to remain in the recessionary stage.

I have often argued that many developers in Sioux Falls don’t have a long term plan with their properties, I maintain they are only looking on how they can make money TODAY without worrying about the future. I think by cutting up these core neighborhoods with affordable first time homebuyer houses they are forcing more younger families and seniors on a fixed income into rentals. I have even heard a planning official say that living in an apartment is appealing because it is a maintenance free lifestyle. What they don’t mention is when you move out of that apartment, you get $0 back for investing in someone else’s property. As a city we should be promoting home ownership over renting at all costs and we need to put the brakes on bulldozing our affordable neighborhoods, we also need to end TIFs for apartments and invest that money in saving our core neighborhoods.


#1 LJL on 02.23.19 at 2:15 pm

Avera purchased the homes fair and square…..Your against urban sprawl, you bitch about apartment buildings and low paying jobs and now your bitching about a hospital who pays decent wages improving a run down neighborhood.

You have nothing of value in your life but this bitchaholic website.

#2 D@ily Spin on 02.23.19 at 5:19 pm

It’s a commercial land grab that could be considered a form of civil rights blockbusting. What makes it unethical and possibly illegal is the City of Sioux Falls is a partner in this criminal scheme.

#3 Theresa stehly on 02.23.19 at 5:31 pm

We need both hospital systems to “lay their cards on the table.” What is the plan for all these homes they have been purchasing?
I have watched entire neighborhoods of lovely,affordable homes disappear these past years. How we protect the residential core is a needed community discussion.

#4 l3wis on 02.23.19 at 7:46 pm

LJL, maybe you need to open your eyes.

#5 Sanford Flashback on 02.23.19 at 7:57 pm

Looks like the nuns (and the City) aren’t going to do much better than Sanford did when it involves the neighborhood surrounding their hospital.

They just went through a zoning hearing on Feb 6th and rec’d Council approval on Feb 19th for the new home for the nuns at 24th Street and 7th Avenue.

Now, today up pops a new zoning request for the March Planning Commission meeting.

They have posted 3 PINK zoning signs:

Middle of the block on 7th Avenue

Middle of the block on 8th Avenue

24th Street and Cliff Avenue.

Strange way for the City to provide notification of changes whose boundaries will be:

7th Avenue

26th Street

Cliff Avenue

24th Street.

The zoning notices for the nuns new home are orange and made out of very sturdy material. They are still in place. The 3 notices that were posted today are made out of flimsy paper-like material and were already bending in half from the wind. And, No, the blizzard hasn’t started yet!!

Do you think, just maybe, they would prefer as few people as possible see these notices?

After all, 49 of the 64 homes remaining in this neighborhood already belong to Avera. Which means the majority of people living in this area are Avera’s tenants.

Look for a repeat of what happened in the area surrounding Sanford……removal and demolition of homes and requests for streets to be vacated……

#6 LJL on 02.23.19 at 8:50 pm

Read the article YOU posted smartass…

“The association reports that South Dakota’s 12,530 registered nurses received an average annual salary of $57,010, or $27.41 per hour”.

$27 is a high paying wage even for SF. Nearly twice the $15 minimum you’ve been bantering about not making yourself.

Hospitals are the life blood of this city. Avera is building a billion dollars worth of facilities on the edge of the city. I’ll say it agin, Avera paid for those homes at market price.

You’re playing with fire councilor Stehly if you think you can bully the industry which employs a great deal of the citizens of this city. Vacating streets will end up on a ballot and you will look a fool with only a few words spoken.

Furthermore floating ideas before the facts have been presented to the council and/or having SouthDacola be your propagandist is well below the conduct of an elected official. If you were really concerned about affordable housing, you should have asked questions about all the over priced new apartments and no starter homes for the past 3 years.

#7 "Very Stable Genius" on 02.23.19 at 9:01 pm

If you paint your house taupe, they will probably leave it alone.

#8 Rachel on 02.23.19 at 9:09 pm

Sanford did

#9 l3wis on 02.23.19 at 9:32 pm

LJL, $27 is the average pay, no nurse in this town starts out at $27, I know that for a fact. We are dead last. Smartass. This argument that we need to roll over for all the developers in town with TIFs and tax rebates for ‘jobs’ is wearing super thin. We threw around $50 million at Flopdation Park for a handful of pallet humper jobs. The argument is on shallow ground. And I would LOVE to put on the ballot new rules surrounding street vacations and TIFs. Show us the economic payoff or go away. If it were up to the voters there would never be another tax rebate, TIF or street vacation again in this town, and you know it.

#10 anonymous on 02.23.19 at 9:36 pm

LJL, do you have the ability to discuss any issue without getting nasty?

#11 Theresa stehly on 02.23.19 at 10:04 pm

Having an open discussion about this issue is a good thing for the community. I have discussed it at our council meetings, with the media, in conversations with concerned citizens on my facebook posts,with the Nuns and yes here.

#12 Theresa stehly on 02.23.19 at 10:06 pm

Please contact me in person LJL and we can have a discussion about it. Also, come and voice your concerns and support for the hospital neighborhood growth at our next meeting. 929-8783.

#13 D@ily Spin on 02.24.19 at 7:29 am

Sounds like LJL is having a bad day. I agree, homes were purchased fair and square. What bothers me is how the city becomes a partner with the hospitals. They should be unbiased and (certainly) should address protecting affordable housing.

#14 Rufusx on 02.24.19 at 9:12 am

Urban development is a long-term process – not just from the “planning” and new building phase, but from the natural evolution process. There are neighborhoods that 40 years ago were the “new” neighborhoods that are becoming or in some cases have become what the “core” neighborhood @ 26th/Cliff and environs were then. For reference, the area just to the East of there – was “new” housing in the 1950s, where friends of our family had moved into. the Interstate didn’t yet exist. Patrick Henry Jr High (just 5-6 blocks South) was surrounded by cemetery on the edge of town to the East and farmland to the South (Lincoln HS land was a vegetable truck farm field) . Anything South and West of Augustana’s campus. was likewise farmland.

Meanwhile, in the 70’s, just about when O’Gorman HS was built (like Lincoln) out in the countryside, development to the West of I-29 hadn’t really begin yet.

But what is out there now (from Sertoma Ave. to the East) is comparable to what the “core” area you are focusing in here, is far more “aged” and as likely to be a starter-home type investable property as that “core” area was in the 80’s.

#15 Warren Phear on 02.24.19 at 10:19 am

There is a good article in today’s Argus LTE on this topic by Anne Nelson.

#16 Matthew Paulson on 02.24.19 at 11:38 am

I had friends that lived in that area. They sold to Avera and moved because Avera already owned most of the neighborhood and didn’t want to own a property next to a bunch of rental homes.

#17 Theresa stehly on 02.24.19 at 1:24 pm

The City has access to a program that encourages homeowners to spruce up their property through property tax “forgiveness” projects. Many businesses have been given access to this program. (It’s not a TIF) My next Stehly Report features some of the neighborhoods working to protect homes.

#18 LJL on 02.24.19 at 3:39 pm

Nasty might as well be the mission statement of this blog…

I don’t know what Avera person your talking to or their position but my immediate family makes over 60K a year as an 9 year RN in this city. Her first contract was 49K. An LPN would not.. The 57K average was for the enire state and I will guarantee that salary will be very hard to make as a RN outside SF, SO SF is mostly above the average. Those are the facts.

You added TIFS ad hoc to the last line of this particular thread, you know I am against all of them that don’t help those who actually need them and I would not support one for Avera or Sanford…Again, a revitalization program for these neighborhoods will only benefit the developers as your target small family revitalizers don’t have the means to even begin the process as very few have any type of savings. Thats just a fact. I like everyone in this city, depend on the healthcare industries success.

What better example of core revitalization could you possibly find than than the greatest job creator of this city purchasing the blighted properties next to it and creating campuses of not just big square block buildings but really something our visitors are impressed with. The CORE of any thriving city is a moving target, often talked about but rarely ever actually corrected… Nothing but a talking point.

1 last time, these properties were purchased at market value in plain site. Everyone, including the slum lord that previously owned a few, knew what the the progress was going to lead to. All of us who have invested in housing have the opportunity to outbid Avera and it would be foolish to flip houses next to an expanding large institution. What “cards on the table” have you not seen?

Theresa, I expect Scott to blog with this sort of angle. It’s his right, he’s good at it and he enjoys the drama. I am disappointed in your response as it is not correct to have preconceived notions or ultimatums before the facts are stated at the dais. I would be equally disappointed if another councilor said they didn’t care what street it was, they’ll do anything for Sanvera. Don’t get suckered into the drama on this blog as it does little for your supporters and much for your critics.

#19 l3wis on 02.24.19 at 6:29 pm

Avera and Sanford employee about 14,500 full-time employees (jobs IN Sioux Falls, does not account for people living out of SF that work there). If you go a step further, the top ten employers in SF which include public entities like the city of SF and the SFSD you get that number up to around 30,000 jobs. When you further crunch the numbers there is around 148,000 jobs in Sioux Falls. If you slice out all part-time employment you get that number to around 90,000 full-time jobs. Let’s face it, if the hospitals left (which they never would) we would be in trouble, but NOT devastated. At the end of the day, what people like you LJL never want to talk about is that small business and established neighborhoods really drive our economy in Sioux Falls, and why shouldn’t they be afforded the same opportunities for business growth thru tax incentives just like the big players?

#20 Theresa stehly on 02.24.19 at 6:37 pm

I believe that Avera is coming in to ” lay some of their cards on the table”…SOON.
Your idea LJL,of a blighted property may not be the same as a first time home buyer who is on a limited budget. This conversation of
expansion vs neighborhood preservation is important to our community.

#21 scott on 02.24.19 at 7:26 pm

if the catholic church has millions to spend on buildingsthey should have the money to pay

#22 Rachel on 02.24.19 at 9:08 pm

LJL, both hospital systems in town employ many people. This isn’t a blog about nurses salary or their value so don’t drag us into the conversation. Both systems have enough money to expand. And they have enough money to expand in places other then central neighborhoods. I don’t think central Sioux Falls needs more parking lots.

#23 Erica on 02.24.19 at 9:31 pm

How does it work when people are forced out of their homes, are they paid more than current market rates for their homes? Seems a lot of people keep having to move for sake of businesses and then have no option to move into areas they didnt want to be in the first place and are paying more money for a smaller lot on top of it. Sioux Falls is seriously screwed up when it comes to who the city actually stands for. It isnt the citizens but many of the businesses who seem to have a you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours policy. A lot to be desired but what does the city care, they’ll just raise property taxes on everyone again and basically tell people to suck it up because “muh, the future of Sioux Falls”. We are really second guessing our decision to move back here after being away for over a decade.

#24 Theresa stehly on 02.25.19 at 11:39 am

I just posted a lovely “letter to the editor” written by Anne Wick Nelson on my facebook page . She addresses the LifeScape issue and preservation of neighborhood concerns.

#25 LJL on 02.25.19 at 1:48 pm

Erica, this is not just a SF problem, Fargo and Omaha are having the same debates. Progress = problems.

Don’t downplay the influence medical has had on this city…Without it, we would be stagnant in growth.

“The City has access to a program that encourages homeowners to spruce up their property through property tax “forgiveness” projects”

You pretty much summed up my point with your own statement. The will of a home buyer in this neighborhood to renovate homes in just not there and Anne Nelson’s article is spot on for reasoning why capital investment in not coming to these neighborhoods.

Lastly from me on this….Why in hell would anyone spend any money improving homes in this neighborhood considering the renovated house that was forced to be torn down by the city only blocks away.

Are you Selective Reading Rachel? This debate isn’t about you now is it.

#26 Erica on 02.25.19 at 2:48 pm


Housing is expensive for a city the size of Sioux Falls. The dollar in the housing market here is not as good as people think it is; step outside of the area and even the state and you get better. I was shocked when we moved here that we couldnt find a decent home for 100k when the several states we lived in had no problem meeting that budget. Property taxes are high here and just continue to rise.

Those being pushed out of their Avera neighborhood homes are going to end up paying far more for far less. Progress isnt tearing down established neighborhoods while debating about need for “affordable” housing so the city can grow when there is still a lot of land available with no homes at all. Plenty of wide open spaces along 229 and 29 heading north for instance. Maybe instead of tearing down establisged single family homes for multi-units and businesses, those places should consider where there is already plenty of open land.

#27 anonymous on 02.25.19 at 4:07 pm

The house near McKennan Park which was torn down was not a renovated house.

#28 Rufusx on 02.25.19 at 7:33 pm

Erica – do you realize you are advocating low-density urban sprawl? It is the most difficult (expensive) economic approach to AFFORDABLE HOUSING one could possibly take.

#29 Erica on 02.26.19 at 3:50 pm

There is no such thing as “affordable” housing anyway.
It is a myth… feel good language. Ones affordable is anothers expensive. Build more and more and up goes cost of labor and material to meet demands and drives rental/purchase prices up. Sioux Falls cost is living is only going to keep going up due to building, esoecially as property owners are getting tax increases every year while businesses get the tax breaks.

What does it all matter though. According to AOC we all need to rebuild every building in the nation and then be dead in 12yrs……

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